There are many ways that I would describe myself, fiercely independent, driven, sarcastic, protective, wild, adventurous, passionate, and absolutely in wonder of the world around me.
This wonder, this drive to discover and experience the world was instilled in me after my first trip abroad.
My first overseas tour was to Italy and Greece in 2008. It was a high school graduation present. And that trip changed my life. I went on to college, and then grad school. I took a short two-week trip to Spain and Portugal and Morocco in 2010 that breathed life into me again. I wouldn’t travel again until I was working full-time in 2014.
They say that traveling changes you in deep and irreversible ways. They, whoever they are, are right. I began to be driven by this desire to see more of the world.
In 2014, I spent my days staring at a computer screen, working at a job that I wasn’t passionate about, looking at pictures of far off places, and my heart would ache. All of the beautiful places, and experiences, and people that I had not yet met were calling to me. I loved these cities I had never been to, friends I had never met, my heart yearned for them.
I didn’t so much as quit my job in 2014 as I never came back from summer vacation. It took me two months of backpacking around Europe, and another two months of living in Rome, eating pizza and gelato on a daily basis, until I finally felt like I had sated some yearning to see more of the world. When I went back to the United States after spending almost four months abroad, I had a plan. I would become a teacher, fulfilling another one of my passions, and I would travel during every break that I had.
When I returned home I moved to Tampa and started a new job. I now teach 10th grade English. I love my job, my school, and all of that vacation time. Being a teacher is hard work, and it’s not a lot of money. But it is rewarding. And thanks to my generous vacations, I have had the opportunity to travel far and wide. It is possible! Even on a teacher’s budget.
Travel is a necessity. I am who I am today because travel changed me. And I hope as many people as possible get to experience the wonder of being in a different culture and having exciting adventures, and meeting wonderful people. And I hope, in some small way, this blog inspires you or helps you get out into the world and see something new!